WINCHESTER – An upcoming forum in Dundas County has the goal of shedding light on basic income.
Linking Hands, which calls itself a voice for poverty reduction in Dundas County and is an outreach initiative of The House of Lazarus, will be holding the all-day Basic Income Forum, in Winchester on June 9.
“There’s such a misunderstanding about what basic income is,” said Verna Leger, a long-time member of the Linking Hands steering committee.
The committee acknowledges there’s a lot of chatter about Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot, but what does it mean for communities and citizens?
The forum is expected to answer lots of questions, with it featuring viewpoints from guest speakers who have experience with the basic income concept, as well as backgrounds in dealing with poverty and poverty-related issues.
Rob Rainer, a driving force behind the current basic income movement in Canada and who is the inaugural chair of the provisional steering committee of the Ontario Basic Income Network, will discuss the effectiveness of basic income, along with Richard Shillington.
Shillington, who has been engaged in the quantitative analysis of health, social and economic policy for over 30 years, will discuss real-life case scenarios showing a different side of the basic income debate.
The Basic Income Forum will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Joel Steele Community Centre, and John Stapleton will act as moderator for the debate portion of the event.
Stapleton was a provincial government employee in the Ministry of Community and Social Services for 28 years, and he’s currently undertaking an Innovations Fellowship with the Metcalf Foundation. Stapleton is a public policy educator and member of the 25 in 5 anti-poverty group, sitting on Toronto’s advisory group on poverty reduction.
The information session and debate will be preceded by an opening presentation by Melanie Willard, focusing on “Resilience and the Human Spirit.”
Willard, a speaker and author helping individuals and organizations grow in resilience while breaking the silence of stigma attached to human suffering, has spent a decade pioneering, training and deploying a national team of chaplains who’ve provided emotional and spiritual care to victims of crisis and disaster across the country.
Organizers say it’s sure to be a powerful series of presentations.
“We’re hoping to reach as many people as possible,” said Sandy Casselman, the Linking Hands co-ordinator. “The topic is timely and relevant, especially for those living in poverty and those working toward eliminating poverty.”
Casselman said Linking Hands has held forums in the past, including one on seniors two years ago, but it’s the first time a session has been held on the basic income topic.
The cost to attend the forum is $30, which will include morning coffee and lunch provided by Leatherworks Catering.
Registration is required for the event, and more information is available by visiting www.linkinghandsdundas.ca or contacting Casselman at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 613-989-3830.
Linking Hands is directed by a community-led steering committee and with working groups, focusing on projects including the Green Food Box, Lunch and Learn, and Gardening Guides.